By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
If the NBA schedule is released in a city where whether the team wins games or not is considered irrelevant, does it make a sound? Apparently so, as despite this being another lottery-bound season for the Sixers, the Philadelphia community was fired up about last night’s release of the schedule. When you’re taking lambs to a slaughter, I guess it’s more humane to let them know where and when it’s going to happen.
Actually, the Sixers will start out the season with a couple potentially winnable games, opening the year on the road in Indiana Wednesday, October 29th to face the Paul George-less Pacers. They’ll then travel to Milwaukee to take on Rookie of the Year-favorite Jabari Parker and the Bucks Friday night, before returning to Philadelphia for their home opener against the LeBron-less Miami Heat Saturday, November 1st. The team’s annual Disney on Ice road trip will span 7 games from December 21 to January 3rd, with a couple winnable games against the Magic and Jazz in that mix.
For those fans outside the area covered by the on-air stylings of Marc, Malik, and Molly, you’ll have to get League Pass if you want to enjoy any Sixers action this season. The team has just two nationally televised games this year, November 29 against Dallas, and the December 21st contest in Orlando, and both are on the lesser available NBATV. I suppose ‘Watch Us Tank’ wasn’t a hit slogan for the market executives at the major networks.
The number of back-to-backs are up across the league this season, as the NBA expanded its All-Star break to allow a minimum of at least 8 days between games. Detroit has the most back-to-backs in the league with 22, while the Heat and Lakers drew the lowest amount at 16 each. Helping the tanking cause, the Sixers have the next highest number of consecutive game days with 21. Whether or not Nerlens Noel plays in all such games remains to be seen. As I noted on twitter, the club went 3-17 in the second games of back-to-backs in 2013-14; for a team essentially trying to earn one more high lottery pick while grooming its youngsters, it’s actually beneficial to be close to the top in this scheduling category.
While the final pieces of the roster have yet to be ironed out, we now know where and when the Sixers will be taking the court this season. Although there aren’t expected to be too many green W’s next to these games come late April, this season should certainly provide plenty of exciting moments for both Sixers fans and basketball junkies alike.
For the full schedule, you can check it out here.